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Flash Fiction Story

Ticket to Bliss

​My mother wouldn’t leave the bowling alley, and it was already noon. She didn’t understand it was the most important day of my life, and I wanted great seating. The show started at 3:00 p.m. and the doors were already open, according to the ticket held firmly in my hand - my ticket to bliss. There was no assigned seating for this show; it was first come, first served. “If we don’t arrive early, I won’t be able to see their faces, even with the opera glasses Nanny gave me last Christmas.” I cajoled. These performers had changed my life a little over a year ago.

     My mother said I couldn’t attend the concert alone because I was only eleven years old. It would be too dangerous for a little girl to go alone, but she understood how important it was for me to be there, so she agreed to accompany me. She bought two $5 tickets and another for my best friend Candy Collins. The money for mine came out of my allowance.

     Now Candy and I were at the bowling alley waiting for my mother to finish talking to her friends so we could leave for the Houston Coliseum. We pointed at our watches and fidgeted, but we knew better than to interrupt. Finally, she decided to leave. A million cars blocked the streets downtown. Candy and I spent the agonizing wait in traffic discussing the relative merits of our favorite group members. Mother finally found a parking space and we dragged her toward the venue door. “We have to hurry. We’ll never find good seats now.”

     It surprised Mother that so many people were already there. At last she began to match our pace. We joined the entry queue and had our tickets torn.

     “See, I told you we should have left earlier.” I nagged her, when the best seats we could find were high up in the nose bleed section two-thirds of the way back.

     Ninety minutes still remained until show time. Candy and I talked about fashion, hairstyles, and our favorite songs with the other teen and pre-teen fans.

     When we thought we would all burst with anticipation, the lights went down and our idols took the stage. A deafening roar ascended from the crowd. The score board hanging from the center of the ceiling shuddered and threatened to fall on the masses below. We could barely hear the music and singing, but we were unconcerned. We were in the same cavernous room with these four people we had loved across the miles, breathing the same air as they did. The screaming persisted throughout the twenty-five minute spectacle.

     My mother slapped the top of my head. “Stop that screaming, or you won’t get any supper,” she shrieked over the incessant din.

     Tears streamed from my eyes at the rebuke. “You don’t understand,” I shouted back, “I can’t help it.”

     Fifty-three years later my memory of the Beatles in concert is as crystal-clear as if it had happened yesterday. Thank goodness my mother allowed me to be there.

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